Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism

NECSS 2019 will feature four full days of presentations, panels, workshops, and more featuring dozens of speakers from the worlds of both science and skepticism.

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What is NECSS?

The Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism (pronounced “nexus”) is a science and critical thinking conference held annually in New York City. NECSS welcomes leading scientists, educators, activists, and artists who educate and engage conference attendees through individual presentations, panel discussions, workshops, and performance pieces. NECSS is as much a meeting of minds as it is a conference, and social events and mixers are organized throughout the weekend to allow attendees the opportunity to mix and mingle in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

Who is NECSS for?

NECSS is for everyone! NECSS attracts hundreds of people, from all different walks of life, from around the world. It is a forum for the general public to mingle with scientists, educators, philosophers, medical professionals, students, and many other people that you might not ordinarily meet. Everyone can find something of interest during these four days of conversation!

What Else?

Now in its 11th year, NECSS is produced by New York City Skeptics, the New England Skeptical Society, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, and The Society for Science-Based Medicine. NECSS attracts hundreds of people from all walks of life from around the world. Presenters include scientists, educators, philosophers, entertainers, activists, and authors from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, each of whom will share their unique perspective with conference attendees.

2019 Speakers

Meet our speakers, panelists, and workshop presenters

Carl Zimmer

Keynote Speaker

Our Keynote Speaker, Carl Zimmer is ....

    Leighann Lord

    Emcee, comedian, writer, and actress

    Leighann Lord was the New York City face of the African Americans for Humanism outreach campaign sponsored by the Center for

      Mary Roach

      Author, Science Communication

        Franklin S. Abrams, Ph.D., J.D.

        Intellectual Property lawyer for Biotech

          Evan Bernstein

          Co-Host of The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

          Evan Bernstein is a co-host of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe and The Skeptics Guide 5×5 podcasts. He serves as the C

            Spiro Condos

            Dentist/skeptical activist

            Spiro Condos is a dentist in private practice in NYC and an associate clinical professor at NYU teaching post-graduate implan

              Russ Dobler

              Science Editor for AiPT! Comics

              Russ Dobler has a degree in geophysics and a certificate in journalism, which he combines in his role as Science Editor for t

                Liz Gaston


                  Debbie Goddard

                  Vice President, Programs at American Atheists

                    David Gorski

                    Science-Based Medicine

                      George Hrab


                      Multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer, composer, and defender of the theory of gravity George Hrab has traveled

                        Randi Hutter Epstein, MD, MPH

                        Author, Medical Writer, Adjunct Professor

                        Randi Hutter Epstein, MD, MPH is an educator and medical writer whose articles have appeared in national publications includi

                          Andrea Jones-Rooy

                          Demystifying Data Science

                            Kevin T. Keith

                            Kevin T. Keith holds an MA in Philosophy from Georgetown University, with a concentration in ethics and biomedical ethics.

                              Nathan Lents

                              Evolutionary biologist, author, professor

                              Nathan H. Lents, Ph.D. is Professor of Biology at John Jay College of the City University of New York.

                                Matthew Liao


                                  Brant MacDuff

                                  Taxidermist and wildlife educator

                                  Brant MacDuff is a taxidermist and wildlife educator. He has been to that Bunny Island in Japan and says it's awesome.

                                    Bob Novella

                                    Co-Host of The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

                                      Jay Novella

                                      Co-Host of The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

                                      Jay Novella is a skeptical activist, a science popularizer and co-host of The Skeptics’ Guide To The Universe, a top 10 sci

                                      Jocelyn Novella

                                      Clinical Mental Health Counselor

                                        Steven Novella

                                        Neurologist and Host of The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

                                        Dr. Steve Novella is an academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine. He is the president and co-found

                                        Paul Offit

                                        Pediatrician and co-inventor of rotavirus vaccine

                                          Aaron Rabinowitz

                                          Philosopher, Ethicist, Podcast Host

                                          Aaron Rabinowitz currently serves as the Philosopher in Residence for the Rutgers Honors College, and teaches through the Rut

                                          Neville Sanjana


                                          Neville Sanjana, PhD, is a Core Faculty Member at the New York Genome Center and Assistant Professor in the Departments of Bi

                                            Cara Santa Maria

                                            Science Communication and Co-Host of The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

                                            Cara Santa Maria is a Los Angeles Area Emmy and Knight Foundation Award winning journalist, science communicator, television

                                            Eric Walton

                                            The Psychology of Magic

                                              Brian Wecht

                                              Comedian, Musician, and Physicist

                                              Brian Wecht is a comedian, musician, and theoretical physicist.

                                              Odaelys Walwyn

                                              Microbiologist, Immunologist, and Educator





                                                2019 Schedule

                                                Draft Schedule Subject to Change

                                                9:30AM - 10AM
                                                12:45PM - 2:15PM
                                                LUNCH (on your own)
                                                Steven Novella & George Hrab
                                                Jay Novella & Brian Wecht
                                                8PM - 12AM
                                                Drinking Skeptically
                                                7:00PM – 9:00PM
                                                Real/Fake Science

                                                Real/Fake Science

                                                NECSS ventures into Brooklyn for this interactive performance. Real/Fake Science features six presenters and six topics, some will be fabricated and some factual, some scientists and some charlatans. Faced with uncertainty can you sort the fact from the fiction?.


                                                • Date: Thursday July 11
                                                • Time: 7:00PM – 9:00PM (doors open at 6:30PM)
                                                • Registration: ($35 early bird pricing)
                                                • Location: The Pine Box (12 Grattan St, Brooklyn, NY 11206)*

                                                At this one-of-a-kind interactive mystery science event participants are invited to surf the line between fact and fiction. Cunning presenters will confound you with their alternate facts and surprising truths. Join fellow skeptics and prepare to be regaled with tales of real and fake science, recounted by knowledgeable presenters hailing from a range of scientific disciplines. Participants will compete for the distinction of Most Discerning! The science will be fantastic and some will be phony! Be prepared to listen closely and keep your smartphones and internet gadgets stowed away.

                                                *Located a short 15 minute ride across the river into Brooklyn!

                                                11AM - 1PM
                                                1:10PM - 1:55PM
                                                David Gorski: Science Based Medicine: Cancer Quackery and Fake News: Targeting the Most Vulnerable
                                                2PM - 2:45PM
                                                Odaelys Walwyn: Illusion of Accessibility in STEM
                                                Host: Brian Wecht, with George Hrab (more tba)
                                                8:00PM - 10:00PM
                                                SGU Extravaganza

                                                Located in Katie Murphy Amphitheater

                                                The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe
                                                10:00PM - 12:00AM
                                                Drinking Skeptically
                                                10AM - 12PM
                                                SGU Private Show

                                                SGU Private Show (Friday July 12) – FIT Feldman Center, Room D-207. Please enter at the main entrance to the FIT Feldman Center under the blue arch, located on 27th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. A NECSS representatives will then direct you to D-207.

                                                Steven Novella, Bob Novella, Jay Novella, Evan Bernstein, Cara Santa Maria
                                                8AM - 9AM
                                                9:10AM - 9:55AM
                                                Paul Offit: Science Based Medicine presents: The Vaccine Wars
                                                10AM - 10:45AM
                                                Debbie Goddard
                                                Mary Roach & Cara Santa Maria
                                                12PM - 1:30PM
                                                LUNCH (on your own)
                                                Steve Novella, Bob Novella, Jay Novella, Evan Bernstein, Cara Santa Maria
                                                4PM - 5PM
                                                Carl Zimmer KEYNOTE: Heredity: Its Powers, Perversions, and Potential
                                                8PM - 10PM
                                                NECSS Social
                                                8AM - 9AM
                                                9:05AM - 9:50AM
                                                Steven Novella: Science Based Medicine: The Truth about the Opiate Crisis
                                                9:55AM - 10:40AM
                                                Andrea Jones-Rooy: Why Democracy is Mathematically Hard
                                                10:50AM - 11:35AM
                                                Randi Hutter Epstein: Aroused: A History of Hormone Healers & Hucksters
                                                12:40PM - 2PM
                                                LUNCH (on your own)

                                                Including special guest Matthew Rosenberg

                                                Russ, Yelena, Nathan Lents, Aaron Rabinowitz, and special guest Matthew Rosenberg
                                                Steve Novella, Neville Sanjana, Matthew Liao, Franklin Abrams
                                                4:30PM - 5:15PM
                                                Brant MacDuff: A Brief History of Taxidermy

                                                Newsletter signup


                                                Register Today!

                                                NECSS 2019 early bird registration is now open! Discount pricing is available until June 14th.

                                                Event tickets

                                                Hurry up and get the Early Bird tickets while they are available

                                                Silver Pass
                                                • Regular seating
                                                • Free snacks
                                                • Regular badge
                                                Buy now
                                                Early Bird
                                                • Front seats
                                                • Free snacks
                                                • VIP Badge
                                                • VIP lounge access
                                                Buy now
                                                Gold Pass
                                                • Front seats
                                                • Free snacks
                                                • VIP badge
                                                Buy now

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